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Brother DCP-J132W review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £60
inc VAT

Functional rather than brilliant, this MFP does the job, but you can get more features for the same money elsewhere


11ppm print speed, USB, 802.11n wireless, 161x410x374mm

The Brother DCP-J132W is a low-cost MFP with the appearance of a business printer but performance and capabilities that are aimed at both the home and small office. It’s a no-frills affair, with just a mono LCD status screen, rather than the colour screens of more expensive models in the same range.

Brother DCP-J132W

As with Brother’s other MFPs, the scanner lid’s hinges can be raised up to easily accommodate books and thick documents, and the printer has both USB and Wi-Fi. The latter means that you can print to the J132W via Brother’s Android and iOS mobile printing apps and use it with Google Cloud Print and Apple AirPrint services.

Its print engine is one of Brother’s slower inkjet models. When it comes to our mono text document, though, we were pleased to find that 25 pages emerged at a rate of 10.7ppm, which is in line with the manufacturer’s quoted 11ipm. However, our heavily illustrated colour business document printed at a mediocre 2.8ppm: our 24 pages took just over eight and a half minutes.

Brother DCP-J132W

Brother DCP-J132W Print Quality

Standard quality mono text is dark and reasonably well defined, although jagged edges are still visible upon close examination. Draft prints, which save on ink and print at a slightly faster 13.8ppm, aren’t as solid and dark when it comes to 12-point lettering but the clarity of individual letters is, if anything, slightly better. Our colourful documents and web page prints showed that the printer handles illustrations reasonably well. Reproduction of our shaded graphs was good and 8pt serif text that only looked jagged on close examination, but images were generally a little grainy with occasional marks from the print head. The end result is more functional than beautiful.

Functional rather than beautiful is also a fair description of the DCP-J132W’s photo prints. 6x4in prints suffer from a minor paper alignment issue common to Brother inkjets, which leaves a very thin white edge on one side. Whites are clear and black tones are reasonably well defined, if a little pale. However, areas of subtle sharing show jagged speckling. Photos take a long time to print, too. Two 10x8in prints took 23 minutes at best quality, and six 6x4in prints over an hour and 20 minutes. However, if you drop the quality from Best to Photo, print speed increases to six 6x4in prints in 13 minutes and 22 seconds, and the resulting prints looked entirely acceptable, if a little less vivid.

Brother DCP-J132W Scanner

The built-in 1,200×2,400dpi scanner is also standard issue for Brother. We were generally happy with colour copy quality: images were a little grainy, with slightly exaggerated red tones, but even small font sizes were easy to read, if not completely sharp. Contrast was a little poor on mono prints, but was improved by reducing the ink density setting for our copies. Our colour copy emerged in 32 seconds and a mono sheet took 20.

When it came to scan quality, you’ll want to stick with resolutions of 300dpi and above to ensure that text is reproduced sharply, as our 150dpi text scan was haloed and difficult to read at any magnification. Photo scans lack detail when it comes to areas of subtle shading, reproducing multiple hues as a single block of colour. This is particularly pronounced when it comes to blue and grey/black tones. There’s a reasonable level of detail, but close examination showed that high contrast areas where a pale colour abutted a dark one, suffered from imprecise edges.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Maximum native print resolution 1,200×6,000dpi
Max optical resolution 1,200×2,400dpi
Output bit depth 24-bit

Quoted Speeds

Quoted speed, mono A4 11ppm
Quoted speed, colour A4 6ppm

Tested Print Speeds

Time for two 10x8in photos 1.0 23m 24s
Time for six 6x4in photos 1.0 1h 21m 3s

Physical and Environmental

Standard printer interfaces USB, 802.11n wireless
Optional printer interfaces none
Size 161x410x374mm
Weight 6.9kg
Noise (in normal use) 50dB(A)

Paper Handling

Maximum paper size up to A4
Maximum paper weight 260gsm
Standard paper inputs 1
Standard paper input capacity 100
Maximum paper inputs 1
Maximum paper input capacity 100
Duplex (code, cost if option) No


Printer technology piezo inkjet
Supported operating systems Windows XP/Vista/7/8, Mac OS X 10.6.8/10.7.x1/0.8.x
Other inkjet features cloud printing
Other inkjet options none

Buying Information

Price £60
Consumable parts and prices £12 each
Price per colour A4 page 6.0p
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge 300 pages (ISO/IEC 24711)
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s) 300 pages (ISO/IEC 24711)
Quoted life of supplied photo cartridge(s) N/A
Warranty one year RTB

Print Quality

Number of ink colours 4
Number of ink cartridges 4
Maximum number of ink colours 4
Maximum number of cartridges 4
Quoted photo durability 100 years
Quoted photo durability source Brother

Tested Scan Speeds

Full scan area preview 10s
A4 document at 150dpi 11s
A4 document at 300dpi 17s
6x4in photo at 600dpi 18s
6x4in photo at 1200dpi 52s

Tested Copy Speeds

Time for single A4 mono copy 1.0 32s
Time for single A4 colour copy 1.0 20s
Time for 10 A4 copies using feeder 2.0 N/A

Photo Features

PictBridge support No
Borderless printing up to A4
Direct (PC-less) printing Yes
Supported memory cards none
CD printing No

Copy Features

Maximum number of copies 99
Max mono copy resolution 1,200×1,200dpi
Max colour copy resolution 1,200×1,200dpi

Fax Features

Max mono fax resolution N/A
Fax memory (maximum mono pages) N/A